Our Session met this past Thursday evening (May 27th) and I wanted to write to share the results of that meeting with you as it relates to our protocols regarding worship as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. From the beginning our Session has adhered to guidance from our Presbytery which has largely been requests to follow the guidance offered by our state government. We have complied with this guidance all along the way.
Now the guidance is set to end the mask mandate on June 11. In accord with this our Session voted to end requesting masks be worn as of Sunday, June 13. We also plan to remove the every other pew seating, but ask that, as there is plenty of space in most instances, that we continue to voluntarily social distance in spacing ourselves in the sanctuary during worship for the present time and immediate future. We plan to return to a printed bulletin and to the use of our hymnal on June 13. Bulletins will be printed and placed where you may pick them up as you come in - we will not have a person handing out bulletins.
A couple of words on masking. First, while we are not officially relaxing the request to wear masks until June 13, we recognize that some, for a variety of reasons, don't want to wait. Our request then is that you wear your mask as you enter and as you leave. You may remove your mask when you have reached your seat and as we worship. We have followed the guidance faithfully from the beginning generally speaking and we want to try and run through the tape rather than limp to it. Also, there will be folks who will be most comfortable continuing to wear their masks on June 13 and beyond. This is absolutely understood and you are encouraged to do that if it is your wish.
We will continue to receive the offering in the offering plates at the back of the church after worship for the time being. We will also continue with the pre-packaged communion elements for now. We will continue to pray that conditions keep moving in a positive direction and be consulting with families about timelines on potentially returning to Children's Church.
People have experienced this pandemic in a variety of ways and have different ideas, beliefs, and opinions on it. What I value most and appreciate is that you, the congregation of Hebron, have signaled through your actions that what matters most to you is each other. You have been respectful and have allowed the Session to lead and followed their recommendations. The words "they'll know we are Christians, by our love", have occurred to me as you have met the challenges of this time. This is so much more productive than "they will know we are Christians by the things on which we disagree." Thanks for doing as the Apostle Paul suggests - to make love our aim.
Also, as an indication that we will be returning more and more to what we recognize as normal the Presbyterian Women will be having a Yard Sale on Fridays and Saturdays June 18-19 and 25-26, from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. each day. There will be lots of stuff that folks have found the time to clear out of their living spaces over the course of the past year so it could be one amazing Yard Sale. Some help will be needed setting up tables on Sunday, June 13 after church. The women will begin getting things ready on Monday, June 14. Talk to Betty Hogan for more information and about how and when to bring anything you would like to donate.